Glass compiles a selection of some of the most outstanding and stylistically distinct pocket squares on the market.
DRESSING the top pocket of one’s jacket with a handkerchief has long served as a way to transform a piece of fabric ordinarily carried for practical purposes into a stylish garnish. Once a signifier of socio-economic class, handcrafted in the finest silks and monogrammed with one’s initials, the pocket square is now a staple of the urbane gent’s closet drawer. Whether contrasting textures or rainbow tessellation prints, it’s safe to say that outfitting a left pocket correctly can often be perplexing for some.
Bespoke tailor Sean Christopher
However, now that anything generally goes when it comes to putting together a contemporary menswear ensemble that suits you, it’s nigh on impossible to feasibly go wrong. With such a diverse array of hanky styles on the market, that certainly makes for a win-win. To get the last word in perfecting a pocket square, Glass talks to Beauchamp Place-based tailor Sean Christopher, whose sensibility towards the art of tailoring was originally honed during his time as an apprentice on Savile Row and also while working internationally for fashion names such as Tom Ford and Karl Lagerfeld.
What makes the pocket square such an effective adornment and in some instances, a compulsory way to “finish” off a jacket?
A pocket square generally should never be the crucial touch to an outfit but more of an afterthought with ease, it should be simple to style within your wardrobe, helping to add your own drop of personality flair. Whatever you wear, it’s all about you and the ensemble and should be reflective of this. Pocket squares today are no longer just about the colour but now more than ever about the shape. From the clean cut line of a simple fold to the more complicated three-four peak fold.
How can pocket squares be adapted to freshen up a suit?
One can simply use a pocket square to freshen or finish an outfit, it’s all about the fold technique used. Flat-folded for daywear or tuxedos. Flamboyant free-folds or the peaks for a little more gravitas and sense on fun personality. Whatever the style a pocket square in my option is never something to be missed out. You can really interchange a suited outfit just by your accessories.
The beautiful thing about a pocket square is there generally is no rules i.e. polka dot square with a pin stripe shirt or suit. It makes an outfit more complex or sophisticated. For today’s man time is a luxury so the more time he has choosing the right combination enhances the kudos of the man himself.
Turnbull & AsserDuchamp
What is your personal preference when it comes to styling a pocket square?
My personal preference is based on ease. No-brainer mentality. I want something to finish my suit combination and not me in the morning. Anything that takes more time away from arriving early is a burden, so with this in mind, I don’t want the accessorising of my suits to be the same.
In my world, as crazy as it is I think I found the simple solution. Match your pocket square to your shirt. It’s simple fresh and elegant and it leaves you with a blank canvas on the fold. All my made-to-measure shirts are accompanied with a matching pocket square to help the modern man look and feel distinguished without the time-consuming pain on spending too much time working your daily outfit.
Does the chosen fabric have any particular bearing on the way in which you can transform a handkerchief into a purely decorative accessory?
I think the material does dictate to a certain style of pocket square. Denser, thicker materials are great for creating sharp clean folds where as the more lighter materials used such as silk have a more floaty feel so they work well just being haphazardly placed in the pocket with a simple twist to give more body. This is or flamboyant and can be taken further by the use of colour or print.
One I quite like is a plain colour on the one side with a pattern on the other. When twisted and dropped into your pocket you get snippets of the colour or the pattern coming through. This created a bit more of an interest that sets you apart from the rest.
What would you say to an aspirant snappy dresser who, like many, is slightly puzzled and perhaps put off by the intricacies of getting a pocket square right?
I would say to them try not over think it. Find a few colours that go with your wardrobe and build from there. Play with simple folds to the technical shapes until you find what works for you. There aren’t any rules here so have fun and you never know. You could find your signature look just by the pocket squares that you wear. When you get the combination right of a smart suit and classic accessories combo you will turn heads on the street.
by Liam Feltham